Crime is the result of criteria that have been built into the law by powerful groups, which are then used to label selected undesirable forms of behaviour as illegal
Sociology aees crime as an anti-social act of such a nature that its repression is necessary to the preservation of the existing system of society
Crime is problem behavior that contravenes the criminal law and results in difficulties in living within a framework of generally accepted social arrangements
Behaviors are typically criminalized through a political process only after debate over the appropriate course of action
Classical theories form the basis of many criminal justice programs, predominant in Russia
High crime rates call for punishment to get even and to prevent future crime.
Routine activities theory
Lifestyles contribute to the volume and type of crime found in society.
Crime is likely to occur when a motivated offender and a suitable target come together in absence of a capable guardian.
Policies based on biological theories are usually considered “extreme.”
Eugenics movement of the 1920s;
Castration of pedophiles
Policies look to modify body chemistry to change behavior.
Policies are primarily individualistic and oriented toward individualized treatment and therapy plans designed to reduce a person’s dangerousness
Social programs are instituted to change cultural conditions and societal arrangements that lead people into crime
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design(CPTED):
Natural access control
Natural territorial reinforcement
Cohen (b. 1918)—reaction formation, lower class youth’s rejection of middle class values, leads to the development of gangs and reinforces the subculture.
Miller—Lower class priority concerns of trouble, toughness, excitement, smartness, fate, and autonomy lead to crime.
Cowards and Ohlin proposed that an illegitimate opportunity structure allows delinquent youths to achieve success outside of legitimate ways.
Wolfgang and Ferracuti coined the term “subculture of violence” after examining homicide rates in Philadelphia in the 1950s.
Here, violence is a traditional, and often accepted, method of dispute resolution.
Change of socialization and learning processes
Restraint theories focus on Constraints—those forces that keep people from committing crimes
One restraint theory, offered by Walter Reckless (1899-1988) is containment theory.
There are two types of Containment:
1)Outer—elements outside of individual (friends, law, family, social position) control behavior.
2)Inner—those elements psychological in nature (conscience, positive self-image, tolerance) control behavior.
Social development theories represent an integrated view of human development that points to the process of interaction among and between individuals and society as the root cause of criminal behavior.
An example, put forth in 1993 by Sampson and Laub, is the life course perspective.
Crime is linked to turning points in one’s life.
Turning points are transitional periods during which one can either walk toward or away from crime.
Many suggest that the only real way to produce change is through revolution.
Modern thinkers believe that we need a middle- of-the-road solution. Such solutions include:
Increasing job opportunities
Reducing prison overcrowding
Prosecuting corporate crimes
Restructuring the bail system
Promoting community corrections
Returning to Shaming and informal social control (Barithwaite)
Sentencing circles are a technique used to bring offenders, victims, and other community members together
Community: Implement dialogue to identify problems and develop tactics for elimination
Schools: Restoration for drug/alcohol abuse
Police: Community policing programs
Courts: Diversion programs